Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

President affirmed that " Poland must be reconstituted as a great nation
• . . as a representative and a peace-loving nation . . . one of the bulwarks
of the structure upon which we hope to build a permanent peace.53
As Mikolajczyk had rightly surmised, neither Great Britain nor America
would go to war in order to keep Lwow and Wilno for Poland, and it was
also doubtful whether they would be prepared to safeguard the independ-
ence of the remainder.
The example of Warsaw had an ominous meaning. And now., once
again, the Atlantic Democracies were repeating with empty phrases that
their desire was to guarantee Poland, but the scope of this desire proved
more modest than in 1939 . . . Thus Mikolajczyk's reasoning was to
crumple into dust when it camein contact with reality.
The newly-formed Government under Thomas Arciszewski had taken
office against the desire of the Two Powers, Britain and Russia, then busily
engaged in a tug-of-war over Poland. Arciszewski's Cabinet fully re-
presented his fighting country and was determined to challenge all comers
to the last stand—fi no more concessions, the stock of concessions have
run out/ The newly-formed Government was cold-shouldered by
10 Downing Street, and met with a most violent torrent of abuse from
Moscow. As one of the leaders of the Underground, the new Premier
had directed the struggle inside Poland against the invader for the past
five years and had been urgently c wanted' by the Gestapo, as well as
being the most sought-after man by the N.K.VJD. until the summer of
1941. Arciszewski was a Socialist of long standing and had been a re-
nowned figure in the fight for Poland's freedom under the Tsarist regime.
When the Home Political Representation had decided in the summer of
1944 that it would be desirable to separate the appointment of President
of the Republic from the function of the C.-in-C. (then combined under
Sosnkowski) Arciszewski had been chosen as the successor to the post of
President. He was brought to England in the July of that year by a plane
piloted by a New Zealander (Flight Lieutenant S. G. Culliford) who
landed near Tarnow in Southern Poland, where the new Prime Minister
was waiting—incidentally, Arciszewski brought with him the plans of
the German missiles V.I and V.2, which had been captured by the Polish
Home Army.
The new Government, like the former, was based on the three main
parties (with the exception that, instead of the Peasants, the National
Democrats had taken office), and was backed to the fullest possible extent
by all the elements taking part in the Underground. The London group
of the Peasant Party (which still had one Minister inside Poland) issued
the statement the day after the formation of the Cabinet that, although
they were not participating for the time being in the Cabinet, they were
giving their " foil support to the legal Polish Government in its arduous
struggle in the defence of the interests of Poland and of the Polish people.*3